Without verifiable appearances of Assange, wikileaks is like Coke in a generic can.
Julian Assange is not just the founder of wikileaks. He is the trademark. Julian Assange provides the brand which has led to the legitimacy of wikileaks over any other lone whistle blower or hacker.
It is Julian Assange that presents the integrity and that generates the trust that wikileaks is respectable and honest. He built that reputation over 10 years. When people think of wikileaks, they see Julian Assange’s face. Some even believe he is the only person at wikileaks, but that is because they do not grasp how difficult what wikileaks does is.
Without Julian Assange’s face presented in a verifiable way, wikileaks becomes like Coca Cola in a generic soda can.
wikileaks would never choose to not provide POL because they are well aware of how important the presentation of their integrity is. Tweets and statements of their mandate does not have any impact unless Julian Assange himself states it.
wikileaks is all about truth. That is their secondary trademark. Julian is the primary trademark as the Coca Cola trademark is to coke. The secondary trademark is the same as having actual Coke inside the can. The truth is the product and its quality is ensured by the trademark.
When wikileaks fails to provide proof of life for Julian Assange without a complete explanation, preferably from his attorneys in a live press conference, they generate distrust and lose integrity. People do not donate because they do not believe in them, just like people would not trust a generic soda can to contain Coca Cola.
wikileaks is all about truth, and for the first time, they are not telling it and are failing to provide the full story. The website wikieaks.org fails to address the issue as well. This makes wikileaks look like the corrupt governments they expose or worse like the lying US Media that was exposed by wikileaks.
Julian would not risk that. They claim to be in full contact with him. There are only two possibilities.
1. wikileaks is no longer being run by Assange.
2. wikileaks is being held hostage
If Assange is alive, a government entity could have control over his well being and be forcing the hand of the organization. They could use Assange as a bargaining chip to maintain control of the most important source of truth we know, even in the free world.